The Exclusive Legislative List needs to be reviewed, according to Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel, to give states more power over important areas.
“I believe we need to revisit the so-called Exclusive List. The states are unable to function very successfully because there is so much focus on the federal government. I’m serious about this, and if we can put politics aside and be real, there are a lot of things we can let states do so that people who are willing may go ahead and do them, Emmanuel said on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily program on Thursday.
At a celebration marking the state’s 35th anniversary in Uyo, the state’s capital, the governor spoke.
Currently, the Federal Government is in charge of 68 items on the Exclusive List, including, among others, aviation, money, security, and customs, while the Concurrent Legislative List includes subjects that the Federal Government and State Governments Share Control Over. They include distributing funds, collecting taxes, and developing the industrial, commercial, or agricultural sectors, among other things.
For states to function like other federating entities abroad, according to the governor, the constitution needs to be examined.
“I like reading about the economies of states and countries that are successful. During COVID, I was reading somewhere about New York and they were feeling so bad that the revenue they were getting during COVID dropped to over $16bn. I said my God, this is just a state. So, what makes them make that kind of revenue?
“I know we have a completely different economy but what principle gave rise to that (revenue)?” he asked.
“I still believe, in an economic eye, we need to look at certain things that are in our constitution which we can as well decentralise to make states work. I’ve talked about the Exclusive List.
“Something like this is a national problem, and you don’t get into the smallest details because everyone might not have the same understanding. I try not to say everything. I keep assuring Nigerians that the PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) will look into several of these when we take office,” Emmanuel added.
If we consider that, it will much aid in the development of states. Consider the concept of power. I am unable to achieve anything on this coastline today; I must return to NPA. I cannot make any decisions. There are too many barriers for me to even bring a new aircraft. I’m not even going to start there. We are making doing business so challenging. Doing business is not necessarily “easy.”
“Look at how many regulatory agencies we have just for power. Why is all that necessary? The root of our issue is us. Electricity is required. Even the electricity is absent. So what are they controlling, he questioned.